Why is Chen Xiu Huan making her TV comeback after 21 years?

The actress called it quits two decades ago, but is back to pursue her love for acting

Photos: Lee Zi Jin, Camelia Ting
Video: Aaron Ho

Although it has been 21 years since local actress Chen Xiu Huan (also known as Sherry Tan) left the entertainment industry in 1997, the actress, it seems, continued to remain well-loved in the hearts of audiences, who enjoyed her shows of yesteryears.

The 52-year-old actress told us, during our interview with her at the media conference of upcoming Channel 8 drama Fifty and Fabulous, that random strangers she met on the streets would tell her they missed seeing her on television, and would ask if she planned to return to showbiz.

“I took the chance to promote this show, and asked them to catch it when it airs on June 6,” the actress shared, “They were so surprised but pleased to hear that I’m starring in a new show!”

Xiu Huan was a contracted Mediacorp artiste for 13 years before deciding to quit acting and marry her husband, known to the media as Mr Tsai, in 1997. Yesterday, she signed a one-year contract with Mediacorp, and opened up about her reasons for doing so.

“When I left the entertainment industry, I didn’t have any plans of returning,” she revealed, “I really loved acting, but had to give up my career because it was the responsible thing to do at that time.” 

“However, my love for acting did not go away,” shared the actress.  “After we had kids, I remember telling my husband that I will return to acting once our youngest child enrols into secondary school.”

Jason Oh with Chen Xiu Huan
The actress sure kept to her word, as her youngest daughter, Shavinne, will turn 14 this year, and her older daughters, Shalynn and Shanisse, will be 18 and 20 respectively.

“I feel very blessed, because my daughters are very well-behaved,” she said, “I feel like I’ve managed the house quite well as a full-time housewife, and thought that it will be a good time for me to return to the acting career [which] I loved.”

While the thought of acting had always lingered on the back of her mind, Xiu Huan revealed that her eventual return to TV happened by chance. It was a “natural process” which started after she accidentally agreed to take part in upcoming Malaysia co-production Gifted, which stars local actors like Elvin Ng and Fiona Xie. Prior to that, she also picked up projects on-and-off and filmed a local movie, Lucky Boy, in 2015.

Working on Gifted made her realise that she has yet to lose touch with her craft, as she managed to move the director to tears with her portrayal of a depressed woman who meets her illegitimate son for the first time.

Xiu Huan tells us that her return, however, was kept a secret from her closest celebrity girlfriends, local actresses Zoe Tay and Hong Hui Fang.

“They will scold me for sure when they find out about it through the media,” she chuckled, “I’m so sorry!”

WATCH: Chen Xiu Huan hopes to return to TV with a brand new image.

(Continued on next page: Chen Xiu Huan loses weight before her comeback)

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